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Don Hansen's Football Gazette Blog of information, comments, notes, and tidebits on Small College Football. NCAA 1-AA & Mid Major, Division II & Mid Major, Division III, NAIA, and NCCAA

Friday, July 22, 2005

McGurk, Williams earn Preseason All-America praises

ALAMOSA, Colo.- Adams State College senior linebacker Adam McGurk and senior punter Jeff Williams have both been named to a pair of Preseason All-America teams, recently released by college football preview magazines. McGurk, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound rover from Longmont, Colo. (Longmont HS) was a First Team pick by both Lindy's and Street & Smith's while Williams, a 6-foot-4, 225-pounder from Mead, Colo. (Skyline HS) was a Second Team selection by Lindy's and a First Team pick by Street & Smith's, which only lists a single unit.

Street & Smith's also listed the Wayne McGinn coached ASC Grizzlies as one of the "Best of the Rest" and tabbed the team's Nov. 5 regular season finale at defending RMAC Champion Colorado School of Mines as one of five "Games to Watch" from around the country in 2005.

McGurk, the 2-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, was also named to the Lindy's preseason team in 2004 and has earned postseason All-America honors from numerous publications over each of the last two seasons. In 2004, he made a team-high 126 tackles and led ASC's defense, coordinated by Marty Heaton, that finished atop the RMAC and 12th in the nation while earning "NCAA Division II Defense of the Year" honors from the College Sports Report. As ASC's career and single-season sack record holder, McGurk also had 20 total tackles for losses, 7.5 sacks, seven pass breakups and was tied for the national lead in forced fumbles with five.

Williams boomed 71 punts for 3,405 yards in 2004, good for an impressive 48.0 yard average. That mark led all levels of college football and was good for his third straight RMAC punting title. Recording the best single-season average of any NCAA Division II punter since 1966, Williams broke Jason Van Dyke's 1997 ASC single-season record for punting yards and fell just 0.1 yard per punt shy of breaking ASC's single-season punting average record, held by the legendary Don Cockroft, a former All-Pro with the NFL's Cleveland Browns.

Moving into second place behind Van Dyke, a 3-year All-American, on ASC's career punting yards and attempts charts in the process, Williams is now averaging 44.7 yards per punt throughout his 3-year career and is well ahead of Van Dyke's NCAA Division II record pace of 44.3 yards per kick.

Williams was named to six different All-America teams following the 2004 season, including the First Team AP Little All-America squad, and is receiving a lot of attention from professional scouts entering his final season at ASC.

The Grizzlies, who won seven straight games in 2004 before finishing with their best record (7-4) in 15 years, will report to preseason camp on Aug. 6 and will kickoff the 2005 season on Thursday, Aug. 25 at Central Missouri State, which is also tabbed as a "Best of the Rest" squad by Street and Smith's.

ASC will return 19 starters and 37 letterwinners from the 2004 squad, that was ranked 34th and 36th by and Don Hansen's Weekly Football Gazette, respectively, at the end of the campaign.

Colorado Mines and Chadron State, two of ASC's RMAC opponents, are ranked 14th and 24th, respectively, by that publication while Colorado Mines is tabbed 16th by Lindy's. The Grizzlies will host Chadron State in their home-opener on September 10.

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